Launching Facilitated Learning Circles

We’re very excited to announce a new initiative as a part of Design for Learning: Facilitated Learning Circles!

the logo for design for learning at the center of a circle of stick figures of different colors holding hands, with the text "Facilitated Learning Circles" below

Cohort 2 alum Al Oliveras gave a great presentation last year about his work leading a facilitated learning circle at his library, following the lead from P2PU (Peer to Peer University – This is a great program that helps library workers and other community organizers bring people together to learn. The main idea is to take advantage of openly available online learning resources (on ANY subject), but bring people together in person to discuss what they’re doing online and help each other to get through it. P2PU provides a bunch of great resources to help, including a great handbook.

When I heard about this from Al, I immediately thought about different ways this ties in with what we’ve all been doing through D4L. I’d love to see more library workers creating and sharing new learning objects that programs like this could use! As they grow, they’re seeking out new open content.

More immediately, though, this could be a great way for more of us to work through the D4L modules – even if we can’t meet in person, we can use video chat to connect as a group. I’ve heard interest from a few different directions in having groups go through the D4L content together for different reasons:

  • for a project in a library science degree program,
  • as a series of workshops through a professional association,
  • for colleagues working on developing a project together at the same institution,
  • etc.

Since P2PU has released their Facilitator Handbook under a Creative Commons license, I’ve been able to create a version specifically for D4L. Let’s test it out!

Here’s your call to action:

#1 I’m forming a Learning Circle to go through the D4L Community module together, for 4 weeks from the end of July through August. We’ll meet via video chat on a regular schedule to work our way through the content together. If you would like to participate, please indicate your availability at You don’t have to have completed any of the other modules to jump into the Community module – everyone is welcome!

#2 If you’re interested in forming your own Learning Circle to work through any of the D4L modules, please let me know so I can help you get it set up! Start by taking a look at the new D4L Learning Circle Facilitator Handbook (download at, and let us know if you have any questions about it.

Don’t forget to check out the P2PU website and see all the great work they’re doing!

About Arden Kirkland

Arden Kirkland is an independent digital librarian, providing consulting services for digital collections and online learning. Her years of work in higher education have included a focus on students’ active participation in the construction of multimedia digital collections. Other recent projects include,, and work on the Capability Maturity Model for Research Data Management. Find out more about her work at
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